A passion project that crosses musical boundaries, Tessa Lark’s The Stradgrass Sessions brings together some of America’s finest musicians to duet with Tessa – pianist Jon Batiste, mandolin-player Sierra Hull, double-bassist Edgar Meyer and fiddle-player Michael Cleveland – to explore the folk roots of classical music and traditional American bluegrass. It’s a heady mix, with an album a long-time in the making, which is now ready to be released on First Hand Records on 5 May. This will have you toe-tapping through the summer.
Theodore Platt baritone
Mikey Pandya piano
Film & editing Culiner Creative Circle
Baritone Theodore Platt has used some of his BBT Fellowship to make four demonstration videos. Here he sings Count Almaviva’s aria Hai già vinta la causa (You’ve already won the case) from Act III of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, setting Lorenzo da Ponte’s libretto.
Theodore Platt’s second demonstration video is of Rossini’s famous cavatina for the hero of Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville): Figaro’s Largo al Factotum, a baritone’s calling card if ever there was one.
“The music we play is never old or new, but always relevant and present.” After focusing on Haydn and Brahms, Amsterdam’s Dudok Quartet turn east to pair Polish Grażyna Bacewicz and Russian Dimitri Shostakovich quartets (Nos 4 and 5 respectively) with the quartet’s own arrangements of some of Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes Op 34. These composers lived and worked in a time and social environment of repression and control but, although both these quartets were written in 1951, they display contrasting moods. Shostakovich demands intense physical, emotional and intellectual stamina from the players, while the Bacewicz offers an abundance of virtuosic fun and rhythmic exuberance, reflecting her original and independent spirit. The CD is released by Rubicon on 25 November.